As E-Commerce Rises, China Opens First ‘Courier College’

Workers sort parcels at an express delivery company on March 2, 2019, in Donghai County, east China's Jiangsu Province. (Xinhua/Zhang Kaihu)

NANJING (Xinhua) — A university in east China’s Jiangsu Province on Tuesday established the country’s first “courier college” to boost China’s fast-growing courier sector.

Based in Nanjing University of Posts and Telecommunications, the college was jointly set up by the university’s School of Modern Posts and Suning Logistics, the logistics arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Suning.

The college’s first students will be recruited from couriers across the country, who will receive skill training certificates after attending courses including “effective communication and stress management” and “safety management of express terminal,” said Sun Zhixin, dean of the school.

“Psychology and linguistics are among the skills that a good courier must master,” said Sun Anning, head of the province’s express association, while encouraging couriers to enhance their skills and improve the reputation of the profession.

Fueled by online shopping and take-out fever, China’s courier sector has experienced exponential growth. The number of China’s delivery staff grew 50 percent from 2016 to 2018, reaching around 3 million, according to a report jointly published by CBNData and Suning.

“More and more young people are joining the express delivery industry as couriers, but the mobility of this job remains high, mainly due to lack of career planning and social recognition,” said Jiang Bo, vice director of Jiangsu provincial postal administration.

In July, the Chinese government issued a notice to highlight vocational training of couriers and encourage cooperation between companies and educational institutions.